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Welcome. Traumatic accidents seriously impact one’s life. However, with the proper information and support you—or someone you care about—can recover the life you were meant to have. In this blog, you will find tools, tips and ideas to facilitate the recovery process —tools that help patients cope with physical and psychological injuries and conditions.

A note to insurance companies: you, too, will find valuable information here that will help you better serve your insured customers. In fact, when patients get the proper support and needed care and treatment up front, they need far fewer resources in the long run than they would if support is withheld. That translates into a big win-win for the insurance carrier and a boost to the bottom line.

Here, accident survivors will learn to do more than survive—they will learn to thrive.

Trauma as Disconnection with Self

July 3, 2018

While I have specialized in the psychological care of people who have been deeply traumatized by overwhelming life experiences, it has been difficult to grasp an operational definition of exactly what the trauma means. The problem is often focusing on the event, what we refer to as the traumatic stressor.

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Tips for Coping with Sleep Disturbance

April 30, 2018

In my work with patients recovering from auto accident trauma, a frequent problem patients report is sleep disturbance due to racing thoughts that play over and over in their minds.

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Healing Trauma with Psychodrama

April 11, 2018

The symbolism of the Firebird has always held great meaning for me personally dealing with injuries, losses and transitions, and as a psychotraumatologist working with severely traumatized people who often feel destroyed by crushing life experiences.

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Should We Ban Autonomous Vehicles?

March 30, 2018

For many years during the brief drive to my office in downtown Mt. Clemens, I would daily pass an elementary school near the train tracks on Cass Avenue.  The school sits within eyeshot of the old train station where Thomas Edison once learned to operate the telegraph.  The legend goes that Edison one day saved the station master’s child from being run over by a train, and in appreciation he taught the young Edison how to work the telegraph.

 

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On Keeping Faith Following Severe Car Crashes

February 27, 2018

Now that you have survived a horrible car crash that has turned your life upside down, you may find yourself thinking frequently about how you could have died or suffered even more serious injuries.  The fact of the matter is you were a victim and now you are a survivor.

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Mental Health and the Holidays: Focus on Self Care

December 15, 2017

From the highly evidenced-based field of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, we have known for decades that the holidays in America are traditionally a time ripe for off-the-chart stressors and wide-spread emotional regression.

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How We Carry Trauma in the Body

December 5, 2017

A powerful adjunct to post-trauma psychotherapy is body-oriented therapies and methods. Yoga, massage therapy, and Pilates are powerful tools that should be considered and included in the comprehensive treatment plan. In my work with auto accident trauma survivors I daily see the value of combining massage therapy and methods such as Pilates with the verbal working through of trauma in psychotherapy. I believe auto insurance carriers would earn big returns on their investments by paying for personal trainers to work with survivors in regular Pilates sessions which somatically supports the psycho-therapeutic work. When combined with regular massage therapy, the synergy of the combined approaches is the perfect combination for many people attempting to gain improved emotional regulation, physical health, and mobility.

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King of Sparta Injured in Motorcycle Accident

October 23, 2017

Gerard Butler, as King Leonidas, famed Spartan King in the movie 300, was able to hold off a Persian army of 150,000 soldiers, but he was recently dethroned from his motorcycle when a lady allegedly made an illegal U-turn in front of him on the streets of LA. According to Butler, he crashed into the car and went flying through the air, somersaulted and landed. In interviews, Butler talked about how the accident made him aware of how fragile life is because the accident could have ended his. His list of reported injuries included five fractures in his right foot, a torn meniscus, and various cuts and bruises. He minimized his injuries while admitting it was painful.

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Montel Williams, PTSD and TBI From Auto Accidents

September 25, 2017

I just returned from the fall conference of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan which was truly an amazing conference. I made many wonderful connections and learned a lot of new things about brain injuries and our health care delivery system from some of Michigan’s top neurologists, psychologists and case managers, and most of all, from the people who have sustained brain injuries.

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Preserving Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance System – Prevention is Cheaper than the Cure

August 10, 2017

Our Michigan system is currently under attack by some politicians, insurance companies and newspapers.  They say our system is too expensive and needs to be limited.  They want to limit how much and the quality of care you receive, and how much doctors can be paid to provide that care.

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Obstacles to Mental Health Care in Auto Accident Cases

August 4, 2017

Most adults in the United States of America drive vehicles of one kind or another on public roadways and are at risk of being involved in an auto accident which may result in serious injuries or death. According to the National Safety council’s data in 2016, over 40,000 people died from auto accident related injuries and 4.6 million required medical treatment in the USA.

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National PTSD Awareness Month

June 19, 2017

Human history has been written in blood and suffering. It is only by small victories of the heart and spirit that we have endured, and through which we can but hope to prevail. If we as a species are to survive and evolve, it is necessary to find new ink, one composed of love, compassion, and understanding, and held in a crucible of forgiveness.

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Protecting Brain Injured Patients in Legal Proceedings

June 9, 2017

Today I attended a legal conference given by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and learned some important things about advocacy for patients with brain injuries that I will share with you. Pratheep Sevanthinathan, a Michigan attorney, gave an excellent presentation.

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How Trauma Impacts Us – Hold On to Your Dreams

May 19, 2017

Traumatic life events, such as being injured in accidents, often serve to define who we are as human beings.  The same traumatic event can leave one person’s life decimated while others may be propelled to greater accomplishments and life satisfaction than would have been likely without the traumatic event.  How do we explain such striking contrasts?

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Some Thoughts on Healing – The Importance of Curiousity

May 8, 2017

In graduate school, many years ago, I was taught not to talk about healing. It was viewed as appearing unscientific. Better to stick with measurable treatment goals and objectives. The dean of a prestigious medical school said to the graduating class that at least 85 percent of what the young doctors had learned would in time be proven false. He added that he hoped they would eventually develop the wisdom to know the 15 percent that was true.

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Vehicular Trauma Syndrome

April 14, 2017

I want to introduce a new syndrome which I call Vehicular Trauma Syndrome or VTS. From my clinical practice which specializes in treating people who have survived serious vehicular accidents of one kind or another, I have come to recognize a constellation of psychological and physical symptoms specific to these kinds of accidents. There are also characteristic stages of recovery which I will briefly describe.

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The Horrors of Texting and Driving

April 7, 2017

It was a beautiful spring day in rural Texas last week. By all accounts, a pleasant, fun-loving, 20-year-old man was driving his pickup truck, when distracted by texting, he drove head-on into a mini-bus with 14 occupants returning from a church retreat. Thirteen people on the bus died at the scene. One bus survivor remained in critical condition, as did the young man.

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Car Accidents and Collective Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

March 27, 2017

What do we know about car accidents and modern society?  We know that injury from auto accidents is a major public health concern.  In the United States, there are about six million auto accidents each year resulting in about three million people injured.  We know that many people do not do what they can to keep themselves and others safe while driving.  For example, even though wearing seatbelts reduces the risk of death or serious injury by roughly 50%, 1 in 7 people still do not wear seatbelts when driving.

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Recovering From Trauma and Its Obstacles (Part 2)

March 27, 2017

This week’s blog is a continuation of last week’s post. Please indulge me as I take a brief dive into Greek mythology as its gods help us to understand concepts about the human psyche that are often still used in our psychological terminology today. Wikipedia states that for the ancient Greeks, the god Thanatos was the personification of death. There is an ancient statue which depicts him as a winged youth with a sword swung from his shoulder. Homer wrote about him in the Iliad, along with his twin brother Hypnos, god of sleep.

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Recovering From Trauma and Its Obstacles (Part 1)

March 27, 2017

In many years of working psychotherapeutically with trauma survivors, I have learned that self-care is at the heart of trauma recovery. I have also frequently observed that highly intelligent people who are struggling with life circumstances repeatedly make bad choices for themselves that lead them into greater difficulties. This paradox often strikes me as perplexing. Why do some smart people when dealing with traumatic life events make bad choices that are counter to self-care?

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